The most common of these procedures is called jal neti, done with water. Neti was made popular in the US in the1990’s. But the benefits of nasal health cannot be praised enough and continues today.
So with the change of seasons and also the environment changes, nasal passages will come under a lot of attack. Keeping them clear and healthy is of the utmost importance. The three conditions which can result are Nasal allergies, colds and inflammation due to sinuses. So what is Jal- Neti and does it really help? Important disclaimer: Neti has to be learned under expert guidance or practiced with caution. Do not perform neti with any pre-existing disease conditions.
At the onset of any cold, sinus episode or allergy attack, Neti can be performed when the symptoms first appear. Neti becomes less effective with pre-existing symptoms and at such instance, it is best to let the healing course run its own with aid of medications. During cold the nasal passage becomes blocked due to cough, the lungs are heavy and the symptoms like cough, sneezing, and running nose make it harder to breath. While these symptoms can also exist during allergy attack, neti works to heal the symptoms and get to the root of the cause.. For instance the onset of cold, symptom like congestion you do neti you feel good but the symptoms are not completely gone but become 50-90 percent better with first neti application based on efficacy of the procedure and method followed. So for instance you may see with first application the congestion may be gone completely but it may be followed with bouts of sneezing and runny nose. Did it heal the cold. Neti very well may have healed the cold because the symptoms changed and went to the next level. Cold symptoms change during its progress until in final stages it is completely healed.
Directions for Neti
Buying the neti pot- Neti pot comes in local pharmacy store and ususally made of plastic. Traditionally neti pot also comes in metal but this plastic pot is well designed for our purposes here. The store bought neti pot is patented and comes with detailed instructions and starter salt packets. These salt packets are a great nasal protecting tool and once used should be replaced with the formula of 3 part salt and 1 part baking soda mixed in the dry form and stored in dry container.
Preparing the water
In the above neti procedure we need normal tap water. Use stove, or conduction heater to bring 3 cups of water to boil and then shut stove and let the water cool down to luke warm. This should be the temperature which feels perfect on a baby bath or on inside of your wrist. If the water is at room temperature it may be cold. If the water is at the temperature of hot coffee it is too hot. Perfect water for Neti is just a tad bit hotter than luke warm water. once you have reached that temperature. Although the temperature which works for you may vary and it is best to try a few times and get to water temperature that suits you most. Now pour the water into the neti pot
Adding salt to the neti pot
As mentioned the neti salt needs to be prepared ahead of time by adding 3 parts normal salt and one part baking powder. So if you use a tsp for this measurement, mix 3 tsp fine salt and one tsp baking soda Mix the powder to make it uniform and and store in a dry container. Make sure to use fine salt, any table salt, grey salt, pink salt or sea salt is fine but it should be finely ground to mix well immediately when you add to the water. With storage baking soda also becomes clumpy so make sure the mixture does not have any clumps and if it does break it with spoon to make it into fine powder. Add about 1/2 tsp or less of this salt baking soda mixture to the water prepared for neti. Add directly to the pot and shake well by covering the spout hole and the hole on the lid. Tighten the lid on the pot.
Stand by a sink with the body leaning from the waist up over the sink, Hold the neti pot in your right hand(or left if you’re a lefthanded individual) Tilt your head to the left ( or right in case of left handed individual)so the nose hole faces on the right side( or left side in case of left handed individual). . Match the spout hole into the right nose hole and open your mouth .While performing neti majority of breathing happens through the mouth. Do not panic if the water flows from all direction but just control the flow so the ideal condition can be reached. In this situation water will flow in single stream slowly and tilt the head more to the left to empty the neti pot. The whole process should be around 5 minute on 1 side. Take as much time you can while maintaining the flow of the waste water stream through the other nose hole. While the water is still warm make another batch of water by adding the salt baking soda mixture in neti pot and shake while covering the spout and lid hole. Now follow the same instructions but do it for left side.(right side hole if you are a left handed individual}.Lean to the left and connect the neti spout with the left nostril maintaining the flow of waste water draining slowly in one stream from the lower right nostril. Keep the neti pot in your left hand breathe from mouth and keep the mouth open.
Principle of neti
Neti soaks up the germs, infection or allergy like a carbon filter cleans the water passing through the filter. The salt water forms a rinse for the infected swollen or inflamed area. The salt cleanses like ocean water instantly killing the germs. Maintain the temperature helps to make water match the temperature inside the body. After the neti air that you breathe is clean and does not make the symptom spread instead you get fresh harmless, germ free flow of most needed oxyren to lungs. Neti is 5000 year old science and is very popular in ayurveda treatments. If you plan to perform neti please review videos on youtube. Also ask questions on health forums. It is good to get an appointment from an expert to see them do themselves. The process may vary a little based on the practice. Also here is where I practiced neti for the first time. I was a novice and never practiced neti until 20 years later when was forced to relearn this technique due to my frequent cold and allergy symptoms.Practicing under the guidance of someone who had done few times really helped in getting it right.Learning in a retreat, from a yoga instructor, or visit an ashram but always ask the expert if they have performed on themselves to make sure they know Jal neti (Water neti or Neti done with water)
Note to parents: Neti can be easily taught to kids as early as adolescents (heard a Doctor Mom assist a 9 year old)and if you are confident teach them how to do under your guidance. Make sure they do not rush through it. They should also be made aware of the precautions mentioned here. These young adults can lead a very healthy and disease free life due to neti.
Never do neti after meals.
Neti is best done first thing in the morning empty stomach
Neti can be done 3 hours after meals.
Be mindful of water temperature which suits you.
Also keep the salt and baking soda mixture close to the 3 :1 where 3 part is salt and 1 part is soda.< Neti can be done once each side.and not overdo it.
Do not rush through the water
Keep the flow steady and slow in one stream.
Stop right away if you sneeze or cough or water may go up your nasal passage which is very risky.
In case this happens avoid neti that day and continue the next day with fresh preparation.
Make sure to sterilize neti pot with soap or hot water before use.